Birthday Dinner Favours Invitations

Planning a 1930’s Shanghai Jazz Party

April 19, 2012

This year Monsieur Bonbon and I are celebrating our birthdays with a 1930’s Shanghai Jazz Party (our birthdays are three days apart).  We’re going back a few decades and reminiscing about the time when Shanghai was the “Paris of the East“.  This amazing city was drawing people from all over the world with it’s high class clubs and restaurants.  Jazz bands and dancing girls performed every night as guests sipped on elegant cocktails and danced the night away. I think it’s the perfect party theme for a fun-filled birthday party.

We’ve invited our friends to dinner at a popular Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, Hutong.  We’ve secured a couple of tables upstairs away from the main room. After dinner we’re inviting guests to our local jazz club to listen to some swinging sounds.  Here are some of my party plans, so far…

The Dress Code

The dress code for our party is “1930’s cocktail” and to provide costume tips for our guests I included little fashion notes with each invitation. Women wore elegant evening gowns that were long flowing, bias cut and short-sleeved.  Curls and waves were the rage for women’s hairstyle.  Men wore evening suits or white dinner jackets with black tie and trousers.  Their hair was well groomed and usually in a side part, cemented in place with waxy pomades. Dapper hats and fashionable facial hair were also very important. (In fact, M. Bonbon is removing his close-shaved beard for the occasion.)

The Invitation

I worked with the lovely, Melissa Tully from Fully Designed to create the custom invitation and a wee map of the venue.  As it is a 1930’s theme party we designed the invitation with Art Deco aspects in black and gold.  This has become the theme for the party decor and stationery now. Melissa was fabulous!  She offered me two varying designs based on my spec and polished off the final design within a week of my enquiry.  I recommend you visit her Etsy store.  Melissa also offers custom designs for a reasonable price.

Image above: This was my original idea for the envelope – a bright, metallic gold.  I did decide on a more subtle gold envelope in the end.  The wrap-around labels were quickly whipped up by me using aspects from the invitation design.

The Party Favours

We had lots of fun researching party favours for our 1930’s theme.  I came across elegant hand fans, jazz music cufflinks, Art Deco compact mirrors and lipstick cases.  In the end we decided on miniature bottles filled with Hennessy Cognac.  I’m currently in the process of sourcing the right bottle.  When I find it, I’ll create labels for the bottle that coordinate with my theme (details, details, details!).

I must give a special mention to Kelly at Kellybeans, who has really gone out of her way to help me find the perfect bottle to match my party theme. Kelly is the owner of Kellybeans, an online store that specialises in bomboniere.  You’ll find a wide range of boxes, jars, bottles and bags especiallly for your party or event.  Pop over and take a look when you have time. Image above: Inspiration from my Pinterest board – miniature bottle favours.

The Party Decor

As we’re dining at Hutong I don’t really need to create a lot of party decor.  In saying that though, I do love the details, so I’ve sketched out a table design which includes chopsticks tied with gold tassels, printed placemats (design aspects from the invitation), glittery loveheart swizzle sticks, giant gold balloons tied with gold tinsel and black crepe streamers as centrepieces for the two tables. I’m tossing up between faux polaroid place cards (photos of guests in DIY polaroid frame) or themed place cards.  As we are dining on a set banquet I am creating personal menus for each guest (again using aspects from the invitation design) and these will positioned at each setting around the table.  I’ve also just decided to make matching drink coasters …squeal.

Image above: Inspiration from my Pinterest board – giant balloons in gold and black & menu design.

Image above: More decor inspiration from my Pinterest board – glittery gold and loveheart stirrers (DIY)

The Entertainment

Most of my friends and family expect me to have arranged some sort of entertainment.  At our Birthday Fiesta last year, we played a few fun games during the night.  Click on the link {HERE} to view my post of party games.  This year I have arranged some secret activities to allow my guests to relax into the party and then a few other activities to jazz things up.  I can’t give away too many details, as I want to surprise my guests at the party. Check back on my post-party blog article in a few weeks time.  After dinner we’re all heading to The Paris Cat jazz club to listen to some swinging tunes.  I’m hoping to get a few fun photos of the night to share with you.

Thank You cards

I haven’t designed the ‘Thank You’ cards as yet. They are next on my to-do list.  But I wanted to share this idea with you. I’m going to include a recipe card for a traditional 1930’s cocktail, the Hennessy Sidecar ( two parts Hennessy cognac and one part each of Cointreau and lemon juice).  It uses the cognac that I am giving to guests as party favours.  Cute idea, yes?

So, I hope you enjoyed reading about my party plans.  Check back later for the post-party blog post.

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  • Reply Michele April 23, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    What a fantastic theme , reading your blog i could hear the music and feel the atmosphere of that time ………
    .Invitations gorgeous!……………You are SO talented !
    would love to see pics of the night .
    Have a wonderful evening !

    • Reply Madame B April 23, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      Hi Michele, I will definitely be posting party shots from our birthday. Thank you for your kinds words. I love to create my own themes and then design my own theme decor (invitations, decor, cocktails etc). It gives my guests a more unique and personal experience.
      Thank you for stopping by my blog.
      Madame Bonbon

  • Reply Steph April 25, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Wow! Sounds like a phenomenal night you have planned! Can’t wait to hear all about it! X

    • Reply Madame B April 26, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Hey Steph, I’m getting sooo excited! I will definitely publish some post-party photos. Your blog is looking great! Thanks for popping by. Let’s do that coffee/cocktail soon.

      Best wishes,
      Madame Bonbon

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